On Hamlets, Sludgebridge

Do we like these? Is there a certain type or size of population center we need more of? I'm focusing on Hamlets, because those are probably the ones most likely to be squirreled away somewhere on a six mile hex. Has anyone used or planned to use these?

This is the hamlet of Sludgebridge. A small community near a bridge and a swamp. The towns foundation was unstable, and the elaborate three walls that once protected it are now fallen into semi-ruin. It has a series of fountains in the center of town built long ago when the hamlet was more prosperous. In spite of it's out of the way location, the bridge crossing a nearby river makes for a bustling local. There are usually swamp natives, lizard-men, or other denizens crossing near this hamlet.

Sludgebridge

Description

Chaotic Neutral, small swamp hamlet, known for protecting a bridge crossing.

"Nature, Progress, Trickery"

Demographics


Government: The town is ruled by a Awnalper Moorqray, a human tribal chieftan. He is a swamp native, now returned from wider travels. He takes the council of his immediate family regarding issues in the town.

Population: The town has a population of 57. This includes 2 extended human families (one of 18 members, the other having 7), 14 half-orcs, 12 lizardfolk, and 6 other creatures. There is a good deal of intermixing of family members. There is also some fair amount of traffic across the bridge from nearby denizens and local fauna. The two families in town are the Moorqray's and the Guilbert's

Languages Spoken: Common, Lizard-folk, Orcish, and a smattering of sylvan

Local Religions: Kralar a local swamp and nature deity is worshiped. She is believed to protect the town, and appears as a woman with sallow skin and a painted body, who wears a large straw hat that hides her face with silks that drape from it, obscuring her lithe form. Her skin is said to be covered in scales, and she can walk upon water as if it were dry land.

There are many small shrines around the hamlet devoted to her, and she is the centerpiece of the three fountains in the center of town.

Noteable NPC's:

  • Awnalper Moorqray, a human fighter 4 who is both head of his clan and the cities leader.
  • Zenusk Guilbert, a human druid 4 who is the head of the other clan in the hamlet.

Districts


Shops:

  • Cottage of the Traveler's Halberd: run by Ernest Guilbert (1/2O/M/Ex4). He is a winemaker and seller with a large common room, and often rents out a small cottage nearby to traveler's who need to stay the night.
  • The Butcher's: An unnamed "shop", this is Karsskt, a local lizardman (Lz/M/Ex2) who will butcher anything, but keeps and specializes in chicken.
  • Alain's Pastries: a shop run by Alain Grassleaf, (1/2/M/Ex4) a halfling pastry chef who attempts to bake decent bread products in the humid swampland.
  • Borsht's: This is a cobbler's shop run by Borsht, a half-orc (1/2O/M/Ex1). Although he specializes in shoes, it's also the only place to purchase supplies or other gear in limited numbers at exorbitant prices. He is in a relationship with Lisstz. (Lz/M/Com1)
Inns:

  • There are no inns, the town is too small to support them. There is a "common house" used as both a town hall and for worship that visitors can sleep in from the shelter of the elements. Sometimes Ernest Guilbert will rent out his cottage to travelers. 

Features:

  • The town is unsurprisingly somewhat insular and mildly hostile to outsiders. The people ask for top coin for services that they will give to locals for free. 
  • The Bellgroveridge Catacomb has been closed off for years. 
  • The town was once protected by a strong triple wall, but being built on the unstable swamp, the wall has shifted and is in partial collapse. It is not very high at this point, six feet at it's peak, but once it stood twice that high. There is more than one area where the wall is nothing more than a mound of rubble.
  • There are three fountains in the center of town. The middle one has a representation of Kralar, and she is said to bless all those who donate money to the god by throwing coins in the pond. These are collected by Awnalper's children at night under cover of darkness, and they bring the coins which mostly go to the hamlet's budget. 
  • Jackal Steps, a nearby tor has a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside.
  • The bridge over the river is wide, stable, and made of stone. It is titled the Stoic Stygian bridge, as noted by the brass plaque embedded in the stonework. Locals often congregate to fish off the bridge. 

Men for Hire:

  • Morrakkim, a fat human clockmaker. He is a level 1 wizard and is brave.
  • Rothvorer, a corpulent level 1 half-orc cleric. She is coy and is very focused on money. She has some financial interest in the form of a loan, he's looking to recover.
  • Alexandre Moorquay, a grizzled mercenary fighter/mage who's willing to act as a swamp guide. He is proficient in no less than 3 instruments and desires mastery of the violin.
  • Filizz, A dwarf-sized bee person. She speaks common poorly and is a level 1 fighter who can fly for short periods. She is very depressed and seeks friendship, but is shy and introverted. 


Resources: Fishing (Fish), Geography (swamp/marsh), Hunting/Game (elk), Medicinal/Alchemical Plants/Herbs, River

Diversions


Obstacles: Harsh Conditions, Natural Disasters (flooding)

Adventure Seeds and Local News:

  • Serenia Guilbert has recently married Aaron Moorquay and everyone has an opinion about their union.
  • While they are in town, a large force of Bullywugs stage a raid
  • Jurzzzst, a lizard man is in the town square trying to sell a hydra egg.
  • Locals often take bets on contests at night in the Common House, on locals fighting wild swamp beasts

Names:

  • Lizard men: Blud, Kalard, Hee'la, Scarl, Sensiss
  • Men, Marcel, Abel, Hugues, Julien, Leon
  • Women, Lucille, Orianne, Ambre, Anais, Charlotte


Hack & Slash 
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7 comments:

  1. Why do I have a sudden urge to kill Awnalper Moorqray in his home and plant the "Guilbert Ceremonial Dagger" on his corpse, then turn around and kill Zenusk Guilbert and plant the "Morrqray Family Ring" on his corpse? I see Kralar's hand behind this. (Or maybe I just played WAY TOO MUCH Oblivion. ;) )

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    Replies
    1. That is exactly the kind of thing these posts should inspire.

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    2. Where's the like button ;)

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  2. Really good and i like the format of information. I have a bunch of hamlets of 50 ppl to design myself so inspirational reading

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  3. There was an interesting article I read about the formation of cities, market towns and the surrounding areas (looking for the link).

    But essentially, it really boiled down to how medieval population centers were "market town" satellites around larger population centers.

    For instance, you might have a larger population like York (which, depending on the time period may be 1/3 to as large as 1/2 the size of London). York would then be surrounded by several "Market Town" villages within a day's ride on a horse cart (likely within 20 miles). The next smaller villages out would also be about a day's ride from the market towns.

    Basically, in order to get food to market with as little spoilage as possible, farmers would need to be within a day of the nearest market town, which in turn would be within a day (or less) of travel to the larger population center.

    If someone wants to roughly model this historical for their hex-crawl game, a city might have 5000 - 10000 residents. The Market Towns would likely have a few thousand at most, and then the villages a few hundred... The most distance of the small villages would be only 2 days horse and cart ride from the major population center... but the major population centers may be spread more widely from each other, which means one could have large swaths of "no man's land" so to speak in between these snowflakes of population density.

    This came to mind only because I thought it might be an interesting resource to model a whole population center, starting with a mid-sized city, then perhaps 6 or so surrounding market towns, and a couple dozen hamlets. You could put more details into the city and towns, and use some of the hamlets you've already outlined as examples of the outlying towns.

    This is something I'd find intriguing to do on my own blog if I could only find the time to post more than once a week. :)

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  4. Morrakkim is great.

    If I were going to edit, I would add more to the adventure seeds and news section and make it explicitly a table. Some detail about Awnalper and Zenusk beyond race and class would be good.

    But yeah overall very nice; love the format.

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  5. This would be a great substitute for the nothing town that Varram the White passes through in Death to the Wyrmspeakers (RoT).

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